Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method in which a neutral third party works with a divorcing couple to work out mutually agreeable settlement terms and other legal details. The mediator has received special training in this process and may be a divorce lawyer, former judge, or other legal professional. Here is what you need to know about mediation, how it works, and its benefits.

Important Things to Know About Divorce Mediation

What happens during mediation?

During the first session, the mediator and spouses identify the issues to be resolved. These issues, like property distribution, spousal support, and child custody, will require that certain information be shared between the parties. Then, between sessions, each spouse will collect the necessary paperwork so they can share it during subsequent meetings as each issue is discussed, negotiated, and settled. The mediator guides the conversation, asks relevant questions, and explores options for settling disputes in ways that each party can agree to.

Why should I choose mediation?

divorce lawyer

Essentially, mediation gives you and your spouse the power to make major divorce decisions without the interference of the courts or the lengthy, stressful process of a trial. While the divorce must obviously follow all applicable laws and procedures, you and your spouse have more control over the outcome. You can still consult a divorce lawyer as needed, but, ultimately, it is the divorcing couple that irons out the details of the split and designs a settlement that is mutually agreeable.

Is mediation right for every divorce?

Most couples can enjoy the benefits of mediation. Even if you and your spouse are not on the best of terms, mediation can defuse some of the tension, open the lines of communication, and lead to a more peaceable result. However, if one or both spouses is so angry or emotional that they cannot be in the same room as the other, mediation can be difficult, and the courts may be a better place to settle any disagreements. Successful mediation requires, first and foremost, the willingness of each party to work together.

How long does it take?

It depends on the complexity of the issues you and your spouse need to resolve. A fairly straightforward divorce can often be resolved in three or four sessions. More complicated situations will require more. A divorce attorney can give you a good idea of how long the process will take in your particular situation.


See if mediation is right for you by consulting divorce lawyer Ray T. Kennington, Attorney at Law. Since 1992, Attorney Kennington has been serving Ozark and Enterprise, AL. He offers representation in family, bankruptcy, and personal injury law cases. Call (334) 445-1200 to make an appointment, or visit his office's website for more information.